Miss Howe was the first person in US to recognize the need for Mother's Day holiday. She was successful in raising awareness amongst the masses and pushing her plead to the upper echelons of power.
Following this very potent Proclamation made in 1870, the Mothers' Peace Day Observance was held on the second Sunday in June, 1872. Such observances began to take place each year thereafter and paved the way for Mothers' Day Holiday in US on the second Sunday of May.
Though Ms Howe could not herself get the day recognized as the official holiday, she is revered for her significant contributions towards the celebration of the day and for bestowing honor on mothers.
Julia Ward Howe is also famous as the writer of the Civil War song, 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic'.
Mother's Day Proclamation
Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be of water or of tears! Say firmly: "We will not have questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience. We women of one country will be too tender to those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own. It says "Disarm! Disarm!" The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after his time the sacred impress not of Caesar, but of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.
- Julia Ward Howe